What Second-Semester Writing Students Should Already Know

  • what a thesis statement is (an assertion about the topic and a blueprint of the paper) and is not (a topic, a question, or an announcement)
  • how to write a relevant, specific, and interesting title
  • how to write a clear, effective thesis statement
  • how to write an interesting, well-developed introduction leading into the thesis statement and the body of the paper
  • how to write unified, coherent body paragraphs with clearly stated topic sentences and adequate support
  • how to write a well-developed, interesting conclusion
  • hot to transition smoothly between paragraphs and sections
  • how to write grammatically correct sentences (no fragments or run-ons)
  • how to use punctuation correctly
  • how to make pronouns agree with antecednets and verbs with subjects
  • how to write parallel lists and headings
  • that first- and second-person pronouns should be avoided in academic writing (except personal and process essays)
  • that contractions are not appropriate in formal academic writing
  • how to freewrite and create mind maps (clustering)
  • how to prepare a formal outline
  • how to prepare a paper in MLA format
  • what plagiarism is
  • how to use basic features in a word processing program
  • how to save a file as a different type
  • how to upload or attach a file

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